Mechanisms of Fungal Growth and Development
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Fungi account for as much as 70% of the economic impact of plant diseases. Critical steps in the fungal life style include production of spores (conidia) and germination of these spores to form a thread-like cell called a hyphae. Both cell types are critical to the life cycle of the fungus, and both cell types are unique to fungi. Therefore, an understanding of how the fungus regulates these cell differentiation events will lead to a greater chance of disrupting the disease cycle. The work proposed here will address the molecular and cellular mechanisms utilized by fungi to regulate cell differentiation.